Updates on Jason Spezza, Ryan O’Reilly and R.J. Umberger, plus the latest on the Devils and Predators.
PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshynski cites TSN’s Darren Dreger claiming Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza has placed the other Canadian NHL teams, along with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and New York Islanders, on his ten-team “no-trade” list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s also believed the Senators prefer not to ship Spezza to an Eastern Conference team. I concur with Wyshynski the Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues and perhaps the Dallas Stars are the favorites to acquire him. Those clubs have the depth in promising young talent to entice the Senators.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports Ryan O’Reilly’s agent Pat Morris isn’t pleased by the Colorado Avalanche’s decision to take his client to arbitration. Morris said O’Reilly wants to stay in Colorado but the two sides aren’t close to working out a long-term deal. Morris seems to imply his client’s value is $6.5 million (his salary for 2013-14), but his actual cap hit was $5 million, which seems to be what the Avs consider as the start point for negotiations.
Morris notes under NHL arbitration rules his client is eligible for UFA status in two years, suggesting it appears they’ll go year-to-year until his UFA eligibility. Dater now believes the Avalanche could shop O’Reilly, noting he can receive an offer sheet from July 1-5. He feels O’Reilly could fetch “a stud defenseman” as part of the return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A very interesting situation unfolding in Colorado with O’Reilly. Blame the previous Avs regime for totally cocking up this situation. Had they simply re-signed O’Reilly last season rather than engaging in a contract standoff, they wouldn’t have been forced to match a two-year, $10 million offer sheet from the Calgary Flames, which wouldn’t have created this current situation. Perhaps the Avs try to shop him, though I suspect their preference is to re-sign him.
So, what’s the asking price gonna be? Forget about prying P.K. Subban away from Montreal, as one reader suggested, or Ryan McDonagh from the NY Rangers. Ain’t gonna happen. O’Reilly’s a very good young two-way forward, but he’s not yet on the same level as Subban and McDonagh, who are now legit young NHL superstars.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports the Blue Jackets are actively trying to trade winger R.J. Umberger, who recently requested a trade. Over the weekend Umberger presented the Jackets with a ten-team “no-trade” list. The Jackets will try to move him by the NHL draft weekend. Failing that, they could consider using a compliance buyout. They could be force to “eat” some of Umberger’s remaining contract (three years, $4.6 million annually) .
NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports Devils GM Lou Lamoriello remains undecided if he’ll use his remaining compliance buyout. Chere listed Anton Volchenkov and Bryce Salvador as possible buyout candidates.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello has until 5 pm ET on June 30 to use that buyout. He could use the current time to try and trade one of those blueliners to free up cap space.
THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports the asking price for the Nashville Predators’ first-round pick (11th overall) is a top-six forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So, the Predators intend to keep their pick, then…